Sofia is the capital and largest city of Bulgaria and the 12th largest city by population in the European Union, with 1.4 million people living in the Capital Municipality. It is located in western Bulgaria, at the foot of Mount Vitosha, and is the administrative, cultural, economic, and educational centre of the country.
Sofia is one of the hippest cities in Bulgaria. In the past 10 years, Sofia has changed from a boring, sad-looking place to a modern and lively capital. To be honest, Sofia couldn't be called a tourist atraction. On the contrary, Sofia, despite the fact that it is the administrative city of Bulgaria, is an amazing destination for a non-stop partying experience. In fact, only in central Sofia there are over 300 bars, restaurants, discos and cafes you could spend a nice time in. The book market and the flea market are also interesting spots in Sofia.
As Bulgaria has only recently joined the EU, the prices are still much lower than those of Western EU states. As a result, Sofia is a cheap alternative, with an interesting twist. It isn't beautiful, it isn't clean, it isn't well organised, but it provides the grounds for an amazing holiday, spent in a luxurious hotel overlooking the mountain, and with over 300 bars, restaurants, discos and cafes in a radius of less than 2km, the capital is also an easily accessible city.
The city also offers many places of special interest such as the Sts. Cyril and Methodius National Library (which houses the largest national book collection and is Bulgaria's oldest cultural institute), the Sofia State Library, the British Council, the Russian Cultural Institute, the Polish Cultural Institute, the Hungarian Institute, the Czech and the Slovak Cultural Institutes, the Italian Cultural Institute, the French Cultural Institute, Goethe Institut, Instituto Cervantes, and the Open Society Institute. The city is also known for the Boyana Church, which is a UNESCO world heritage site. In addition, Sofia houses the Sofia Zoological Garden, which was founded in 1888.
Several international film productions were made here. Vitosha Boulevard, also called Vitoshka — ranked as the world's 22nd most expensive commercial street — represents numerous fashion boutiques and luxury goods stores and features exhibitions by world fashion designers. Sofia's geographic location, situated in the foothills of the weekend retreat Vitosha mountain, further adds to the city's specific atmosphere.
Last update on 7 May 2010
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